Born in Hong Kong in 1966, Nelson Yu Lik-wai graduated from the Institut National Superieur des Arts de Spectacle in Belgium in 1994, studying cinematography. He completed his first short film in 1995 and in the following year, directed the documentary short Neon Goddesses (1996), which won the top prize at the Hong Kong Independent Film & Video Awards.
Yu made his first feature Love Will Tear Us Apart in 1999 with funding from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, starring Tony Leung Ka-fai, Lu Liping and Ning Wong. The film won the FIPRESCI Award at the 23rd Hong Kong International Film Festival and was the first debut feature by a Hong Kong director to compete at Cannes Film Festival.
Yu’s All Tomorrow’s Parties (2003), a sci-fi feature with a strong political undertone, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival, and his Plastic City (2008), starring Anthony Wong Chau-sang, Joe Odagiri and Huang Yi and shot in Brazil, was invited to compete in the 65th Venice Film Festival.
Yu is also known for being the director of cinematography for Mainland Chinese director Jia Zhangke, with whom he became friends in their early filmmaking days. Yu began working with Jia on the latter’s short Xiao Shan Going Home (1995) and went on to lens some of Jia’s best-known works, including Xiao Wu (1997), Platform (2000), Unknown Pleasures (2001), The World (2004), Still Life (2006), 24 City (2008), I Wish I Knew (2010) and A Touch of Sin (2013).
Besides Jia, Yu also did cinematography for Hong Kong director Ann Hui, including Ordinary Heroes (1999), The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (2006) and A Simple Life (2011). Yu also lensed Gordon Chan’s A1 Headline (2004), Zhang Yang’s Getting Home (2006), Pang Ho-cheung’s Dream Home (2009) and Love and Bruises (2011) by Lou Ye.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||All Tomorrow's Parties|
||Love Will Tear Us Apart|